Former juvenile justice administrator: Lincoln Hills is wrong kind of place for young offenders

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One of the state’s foremost experts on juvenile justice thinks it’s time to move away from large institutions like Lincoln Hills to house juvenile offenders, saying that large warehouses are no longer the model Wisconsin should use for youth offenders. > Madison365

Walker’s refusal to visit prison fuels campaign criticism

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Gov. Walker has never visited Lincoln Hills or Copper Lake, the state’s under-investigation juvenile prisons located 30 miles north of Wausau. The move allows him to distance himself from troubles at the prison, while defending his decision not to go by saying he has faith in Department of Corrections leaders to improve conditions. > Associated Press

New federal prosecutor for western Wisconsin inherits Lincoln Hills investigation

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In confirming a U.S. attorney for western Wisconsin, the U.S. Senate has put in place a new prosecutor to oversee the nearly three-year-old investigation of the state’s troubled juvenile prison. Waushara County DA Scott Blader inherits a complicated investigation that was started by Wisconsin AG Brad Schimel in 2015 and turned over to the FBI in 2016. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Officials issue plan to reduce, not eliminate, use of pepper spray on youth inmates

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Department of Corrections officials do not plan to stop using pepper spray on inmates at a youth prison that has been a target of a number of lawsuits brought by inmates alleging their constitutional rights have been violated by being sprayed excessively. Instead they have a plan to reduce the practice. > Wisconsin State Journal

Lincoln Hills becoming an increasingly expensive problem

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Amid calls for Lincoln Hills youth prison to be closed, a Cap Times reporter notes that adapting to a regional model for juvenile offenders could be pricey. “But Lincoln Hills as it is now is very expensive,” he said, “and if these lawsuits continue to go poorly for the state, they’re going to get really expensive for taxpayers.”

Walker administration appoints interim head for Lincoln Hills

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There’s a new interim director at the state’s troubled juvenile prison. John Paquin, the current head of juvenile corrections for the state, has been assigned to the post until a new, permanent director is found, with Gov. Walker saying his administration’s goal is to keep staff and inmates safe. > Wisconsin Public Radio

Walker speaks out on Lincoln Hills for first time since staff assaults

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Gov. Walker has not visited the Lincoln Hills Youth Prison in Irma and said he has no plans to, but is still committed to keeping staff and inmates safe. On Wednesday, he said he’s been speaking with Department of Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher about how to curb violence at the facility. > WAOW Wausau